Having a dish with no meat, this recipe took me foreverrrrrr – mainly because I made chicken stock from scratch.
I really enjoyed making Pasta alla Chitarra with Morels, Peas & Asparagus in class (garde manger) because the sauce is something that I’ve never done before. First of all, it’s not tomato-based. Second, the pasta is so refreshing!! And third, I am a pro at making the pasta noodles with the chitarra now. It took me 2 minutes to figure out the secret!
If I had a pasta machine and a chitarra, I would make my own pasta noodles.
For the Brown Chicken Stock
- 2 lbs poultry bones
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 1 leek, white & pale green parts only, roughly sliced
- 1 TBS tomato paste
- Bouquet garni – ½ head garlic, 1 TBS whole black peppercorns, few parsley stems, few thyme sprigs
- Canola oil
Preheat oven to 500°F. Trim the bones of fat and skin, then rinse the bones under cold running water. Roast bones with drizzle of canola oil in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until bones are golden. When bones are done, degrease by straining and let the oil drip for a few minutes while you do something else.
In a stockpot, place the roasted bones and a little of canola oil over medium heat. Add in the onions, carrots, celery, and leeks. Sauté until a little bit of color is reached and then add in the 1 TBS tomato paste. Cook the tomato paste before adding enough cold water to cover the pot. Bring the pot to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Add in bouquet garni and then simmer for 2 hours.
Strain the stock and transfer to a clean pot. Reduce the stock by a quarter, or until chicken stock becomes gelatinous. Cool in an ice bath. Refrigerate if not using immediately.
For the Sauce
- 1 qt reduced chicken stock
- 6 garlic heads, peeled
- 6 lemons, zested (save 1-2 lemons)
- Canola oil
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Using a vegetable peeler, zest the lemons. Be careful not to peel the pith of the lemon or else your sauce will be bitter. Blanch the lemon zest 3 times: boil in cold water, strain, boil in cold water, strain, boil in cold water, strain, and set aside.
After peeling all the cloves, degerm the garlic by remove any green parts. Blanch them in cold water, 3 times, too. In a clean pot over low-medium heat, confit the garlic by adding equal parts of canola oil and EVOO, and then cook until tender and sweet, 10-15 minutes.
Purée the chicken stock, garlic, and zest in a blender. Season with salt and black pepper, and taste. Sauce should be bright and garlicky. Set aside.
For the Finish
- Fettuccine, as needed
- 1 lb fresh fava beans
- ½ lb asparagus
- Tarragon leaves, as needed
- Parmesan, grated
- Canola oil
Boil a large pot of salted water.
Remove fava beans from pods and then set aside. Cut off 1-2 inches from the bottom of the asparagus and peel the asparagus one inch from the bottom of the head. Cook the asparagus whole before cutting them. In the salted boiling water, cook the asparagus for 2-3 minutes. Immediately shock in cold water and ice. Once asparagus is cold, cut asparagus on the bias and set aside. Boil the fava beans for 3-5 minutes and shock in cold water and ice. Shell the fava beans and set aside.
Reheat ½ cup of sauce, taste and season with salt and pepper. Squeeze a bit of lemon over the sauce and add some asparagus and fava beans, then toss in sauce. Cook pasta until al dente, drain well, and add to sauce. Toss to coat pasta to allow the flavors to blend. If sauce is too thick, add a little bit of heated reduced chicken stock. Add some tarragon leaves and grated parmesan. Plate pasta in a warm bowl and garnish with more grated parmesan.